If you read my post on Facebook yesterday, you know that I plan to get a new puppy from a litter of miniature Golden Doodles born in late May. My pup, almost for sure a female, will be eight weeks or thereabouts when I bring her home. I tell people I'm doing this for Scooby--he lies around all day, and I think he needs a playmate--and for Jacob, who is still leery of Scooby. I figure a puppy will be easier for him to "grow" with, though I'll have to curb his bossy tendencies. But of course the truth is I always wanted a doodle. I used to think I wanted a full-size labradoodle, but they can be 100 lbs., far too much dog for me to give it adequate exercise. I found a highly reputable golden doodle kennel in the Metroplex breeding miniatures and eventually filled out the form and made a deposit.
Yesterday I got eight pages of detailed instructions, everything from using a playpen on a tile floor (I don't have tile floors) to housebreaking, crate training, and food, probiotics, and shampoo. I ordered a playpen and made a wish list of the other dog supplies for my upcoming birthday--the heck with the iPad I thought I wanted.
But the thing that scared me most was the stern injunction about protecting your puppy, with its immature immune system, from parvo, a highly contagious virus that can kill puppies. You are not supposed to let your pup out in your front yard, for fear a dog carrying the virus has been there. I thought my back yard would be safe until I remembered I'd kept a stray back there some months ago for a few days. Scooby is immunized and safe, but not so a puppy and apparently the virus can linger. When you take the pup to the vet you should not set it on the floor, and when you leave, spray your shoes with disinfectant before getting into your car--a good trick while holding a wiggly puppy.
I began to have second thoughts. In fact, I had an epiphany and decided I would tell the breeders I'd wait for an older pup or a breeding dog they were phasing out of their program. As usual I jumped to that conclusion and it became a firm reality in my mind. I would email the breeder.
But I hesitated. I called Jordan--who thought I should go with the puppy. We agreed we'd go look at them and see how we felt and what older animals they had; then my brother called to report on his trip to England and France, and when I told him, he was quite firm that eight weeks if the perfect time to take a pup from the kennel, even home-raised pups. He was most encouraging, so now I'm back to getting this tiny pup. It will take all my time for a while. I hope Jacob and Scooby like her. Wynona the cat will try to act as if she doesn't exist.
Wish me well. I've had all kinds of offers of help. Wonder if I have to make guests take off their shoes or spray them before they come in the house?